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Again, explosion rocks Port Harcourt

Posted by From in John Iwori in Port Harcourt on 2006/05/08 | Views: 2553 |

Again, explosion rocks Port Harcourt


Barely two weeks after an explosion believed to be a car bomb rocked the Second Amphibious Brigade in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, another explosion has occurred in the city this time in Diobu, a densely populated neighbourhood.

Barely two weeks after an explosion believed to be a car bomb rocked the Second Amphibious Brigade in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, another explosion has occurred in the city this time in Diobu, a densely populated neighbourhood.

The explosion said to have been triggered by industrial chemical caused a fire outbreak, which razed a ten-room apartment building. Fire fighters whose attempt to douse the fire proved unsuccessful simply stood and watched helplessly as the fire destroyed several property the scene.

The fire which destroyed both commercial and residential buildings in the area started late Thursday at No 10 Urulla Street, Diobu, Port Harcourt. An eyewitness account said the chemical exploded as a result of excessive heat in the compartment. Neighbourhood youths joined in the desperate effort to put out the fire that burnt till the early hours of the next day (Friday).

Although there was no loss of life, property estimated at millions of naira were destroyed. Items such as computers, photocopiers, and personal effects were completely burnt.

When THISDAY visited the scene, fire fighters complained of non-functional equipments. They also claimed to have run out of water. Hoodlums in the area capitalized on the chaos to steal victims' property, including mobile phones.

Although most shop owners had closed for business before the fire outbreak, however, many occupants braved the fire and salvaged some of their belongings through windows.

Some residents told THISDAY that they perceived the smell of the chemical hours before the explosion and attributed the incident to poor handling of the chemical stored in the compound. One of them explained that some of the chemical have been in the compound for a couple of years. He could not, however, identify the names of the chemicals or what they were used for.

There were however initial apprehension after the blast. Many residents thought it was a bomb just like the explosion that occurred about two weeks ago near a military formation. There was a claim, a few days after, by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta that the car bomb was detonated by its members, giving rise to a high security alert across the country.

Also, last week there was an explosion in Warri, Delta State. The explosion occurred near a fuel depot and a military formation.

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